Barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of depression in Jordan. A nationwide qualitative study

Laeth S. Nasir, Raeda Al-Qutob

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Depression is one of the most common causes of morbidity in developing countries. It is believed that there are many barriers to diagnosis and treatment in the primary care setting, but little research exists. Methods: Five focus groups were conducted with the goal of exploring themes related to barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of depression, with a purposeful nationwide sample of 50 primary health care providers working in the public health clinics of the Jordanian Ministry of Health (MOH). Participant comments were transcribed and analyzed by the authors, who agreed on common themes. Results: Lack of education about depression, lack of availability of appropriate therapies, competing clinical demands, social issues, and the lack of patient acceptance of the diagnosis were felt to be among the most important barriers to the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with depression in this population. Conclusions: Continuing medical education for providers about depression, provision of counseling services and antidepressant medications at the primary care level, and efforts to destigmatize depression may result in increased rates of recognition and treatment of depression in this population. Systematizing traditional social support behaviors may be effective in reducing the numbers of patients referred for medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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